ANNA Member Spotlight

Welcome to ANNA's monthly member spotlight. ANNA is a vibrant organization because of nurses like you! Your diverse experiences and unique perspectives make us a collective whole that is a masterpiece. We are proud of the work each of you do!

If you would like to be featured, participate in our online community, ANNA Connected. Members are featured in the Member Spotlight based on their engagement in ANNA Connected, so start connecting, talking, and getting to know other ANNA members via ANNA Connected.

Elizabeth Michealson, BA, RN, CNN

Acute Dialysis Nurse
Essentia Health
Fargo, ND
Greater Minnesota Chapter #329

How long have you been a nurse?

I have been a nurse since May 1984.

How long have you been in nephrology ?

I have worked in nephrology nursing since 2004. I have been a CNN since 2006.

What is unique about nephrology nursing?

You will really get to use the art and science of nursing. You hone interpersonal skills to be kind, comforting, and educate a new dialysis patient and their family one hour, and then turn around and use technical skills like expert cannulation and being a problem solver of a variety of dialysis issues the next. Experiencing the miracle of saving organs and reversing Guillain-Barre syndrome through apheresis is life-changing.

What do you value most about your ANNA membership?

I am glad to keep up to date on current best practices through the Nephrology Nursing Journal and ANNA Connected/Open Forum threads. I really appreciated the live educational session I listened to in March 2020 that featured the infectious disease expert physician teaching about COVID-19. The fact that she geared the information towards dialysis and had worked with Ebola patients as well really helped me trust her knowledge and advice. I felt much safer on the front lines spending hours dialyzing patients with COVID in the acute setting because of that information. I used it to educate patients, coworkers, family, and friends as well.

Do you have a favorite patient story?

There have been many patients who have touched my life and make what I do worthwhile. I would like to share a story from when I worked in the outpatient setting. There was a gentleman who had dementia and struggled after the first hour and rarely stayed on full treatment. I tend to sing once in a while, and someone said something which triggered me to start singing an old song. I had my back to this patient and suddenly, I heard a chuckle and him say in a loud, happy voice "I haven't seen a swing like that since the one in my backyard." We all burst out laughing, patients and staff alike. He grinned for a long time and had the best run he ever had and stayed on for an extra hour.

What would you tell a newly practicing nurse about nephrology nursing?

You can make a difference in the world every day you go to work. A dialysis nurse will understand that the best compliments I have received are patients who look at me and seriously say, "I'm so glad you're my nurse today. I feel safe when you're here." A great reason to come to work!

Also . . . "the adrenaline to get called in to save someone's life is different than cleaning my house." On-call doesn't always have to be looked at negatively. Compensation and appreciation go a long way as well.

Share an interesting fact about yourself.

I have been a Stampin' Up! demonstrator for 20 years and teach others homemade cardmaking techniques.

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